Advice, resources and announcements for schools, students and parents during COVID-19 pandemic
Educators across the UK are now dealing with new challenges as schools and universities partially reopen and face continued disruption to teaching and learning for an indefinite period. One of the priorities of the Society is to support Biology education through primary, secondary, further and higher education.
We will regularly update this page with useful resources and advice for students and parents, along with announcements from the educating sector.
- Latest education news and policy engagement from the RSB
- Free resources from the RSB
- Online resources from our member organisations and other science organisations
- Advice for students and parents during COVID-19 pandemic
- Education announcements during COVID-19 pandemic
During this uncertain time we will:
- Summarise education announcements from UK governments and awarding bodies
- Work with our policy partners in science organisations, government and awarding bodies to seek the best advice and advocate the best outcomes for teachers and students
- Collate and share advice for students and parents looking towards next academic year
- Highlight useful resources for teachers and students through our monthly BioEd newsletter for those teaching 5 – 19 biology
- Disseminate resources from our networks (special interest groups, committees and member organisations) that may be useful for students, parents or teachers facilitating remote learning.
- Make existing RSB resources freely available for students and parents, to ensure students remain engaged with biology.
The Royal Society of Biology regularly responds to consultations and calls for evidence from government and regulatory bodies. During this period of uncertainty we have focused on health and safety of UK pupils, students and staff, how to support students to progress to the next stage of education, and policies needed to ensure bioscience education in 2020/21 and beyond is not detrimentally impacted by ongoing disruptions due to the pandemic.
2020 exam cancellation, school closures and impact of the pandemic on bioscience education
RSB submitted 9 formal responses, letters and written evidence to regulating bodies and UK governments considering how the pandemic has been, and will continue to, impact primary, secondary and tertiary education as well as teacher training and early career teachers. All of our formal submissions can be found on our consultation responses page.
2021 exam cancellation
RSB responded to Ofqual's cosulation on awarding grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams in England
With the Learned Societies Group in Scotland, RSB responded to the call for evidence contributing to the Rapid review of the National Qualifications experience 2020
With the Learned Societies Group in Scotland, RSB responded to SQA's proposals for modifying National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher assessments for 2020-21.
RSB responded to Ofqual's consultation on GCSE and A level exams and assessment in 2021
To assist during the pandemic, schools and colleges can access our digital archive for free until 1st October 2020.
Teachers can sign up and request access online via our publishers, and also access other magazines including Chemistry World, BBC History Magazine, BBC Science Magazine and The World Today.
Gopher Science Lab
Our Gopher science lab project was designed so that primary and secondary students, could deliver science activities to primary pupils.
The activities in resource booklet one can be carried out with everyday household objects, with the booklet providing instructions, a short explanation and questions that you may wish to ask a primary age student. Our Gopher Science online training is now free for parents to access for six months, and we have produced a parent explainer describing how the booklet and training can be used.
Other RSB online resources
Check out our student information webpage about careers and school competitions.
All our existing primary, secondary and careers resources for teachers can also be accessed via our web page for teachers.
Our Outreach and Engagement team pages contain a variety of free activity resources for suggested age ranges
- Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour - primary, secondary and higher education resource hubs
- Association for Science Education – The ASE coronavirus hub
- Biochemical society - Biochemistry booklets introducing concepts to 16+
- British Neuroscience Association - interactive neuroscience webinars and resources mapped to biology syllabus across the UK
- British Society for Immunology - new selection of public engagement practical activities and educational resources
- Field Studies Council - digital resources and recorded fieldwork sessions and activities for primary children
- Institute of Physics – Supporting schools and colleges during COVID-19
- Imperial College London – webinar series for students aged 16-18 with Imperial researchers on their work on COVID-19
- National Physical Laboratory - Measurement at home weekly challenges
- The Physiological Society - Coronavirus information page
- Royal Society - Science at Home resources
- Royal Society of Chemistry – Remote teaching support
- Royal Veterinary College - Animal Academy
- Science and Plants for Schools - Distance learning resources
- Society for Experimental Biology - Collection of bioscience educational resources
- Wellcome Genome Campus - Genomics Lite free live webinars